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With MTN Ghana, you can buy shares from your MoMo wallet

Africa’s largest telecoms operator, MTN is going public in its third largest African market–Ghana. Its Initial Public Offering (IPO), already began running from May 31 and intends to continue till July 31 this year.

The IPO is doubly historic–it’s the largest ever undertaken in Ghana. It is also the first time the public can use mobile money technology to purchase shares of a major corporation. Now, Ghanaians will be able to buy shares using MoMo Wallet, MTN’s local mobile money platform with 6.2 million users. This is part of an agreement with Ghanaian authorities as a condition for the telco’s 4G network license as it doubles down in a market it currently  dominates with over 230 million customers and a market cap of $17.8 billion.

MTN Ghana is Pioneering MoMo IPO in Africa

Across the borders, MTN Nigeria plans to raise $500 million, and dispose 30% stake in the business by listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. There is, however, no date for the launch of MTN Nigeria’s IPO even though plans have been underway since late 2016. In the past, Nigeria’s NCC has imposed hefty fines on telcos for poor service quality. While these telcos have also decried multiple taxations at various levels.

South African telco, Vox, partners with Veeam for cloud backup solution

Vox, a leading South African telecoms operator, has extended its partnership with Veeam. This is in a bid to help South African businesses protect their information.

The partnership between Vox and cloud  software company, Veeam, brings to market a best of breed cloud-based solution. The partnership comes as companies digitize more of their operations, with the data collected and stored becoming increasingly valuable to running and growing their businesses. Apart from having to mitigate for hardware or software-caused issues, the rapid growth of cybercrime, however, makes it critical for businesses to backup their data.

According to Craig Freer, Vox Executive Head for Cloud and Managed Services, Vox Cloud Backup for Veeam enables customers who have Veeam as their onsite backup software. This is a solution to connect and automatically store their backups securely to the Vox cloud platform, helping them de-risk their business in this area.

Why is it only in Africa that amounts such as $15 billion get missing?

Relations between former Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and the incumbent Emerson Mnangagwa are frosty. This is consequently generating fears in high places that the former might spill the beans in an ongoing investigation on a missing $15 billion diamond revenue.

Zimbabwe’s Mines and Energy parliamentary committee is presently investigating a 2016 claim by Mugabe that the nation lost $15 billion in revenue due to corruption and foreign exploitation in the diamond sector. The legislative committee has so far not been able to get the former leader answer questions relating to the claim. But the intelligence service worries that Bob’s present feud with the incumbent president may just present an avenue for the outspoken octogenarian to bust out.

But why is the intelligence service anxious, if such revelations are going to provide leads to the recovery of the missing billions of dollars? Or were they also part of the sharing deal? Why do such colossal amounts only get missing in Africa? Was the money stolen in cash? Isn’t the present global financial system digital enough to track where such an amount is being lodged? So many questions begging for answers.

Morocco launches an initiative to help boost Ethiopia’s agric sector

In order to assist the government of Ethiopia in its agricultural plan, Morocco’s OCP foundation has initiated a national campaign. This new initiative is the latest cooperation between the OCP foundation and Ethiopian government in a series of joint projects.

During the early phase of OCP’s Africa project, the Moroccan agriculture giant signed a $2.4 billion agreement with Ethiopia’s authorities. The contract entailed the construction of a fertilizer production unit in the Dire Dawa region.

Upon completion, the Dire Dawa factory will consequently have an annual production capacity of 2.5 million tons of fertilizer. This is an impressive yield which Ethiopian authorities expect will be of crucial importance in the fight for sustainable agriculture and food safety.  

The Tunisian coast is the new route for illegal African migrants to Europe

The crackdown on human traffickers and illegal African migrants to Europe by the Libyan Coast Guards has diverted the scene of action. The Tunisian Coast is now the new route for illegal migrant activities.

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What supports this claim?

Tunisia’s Interior Ministry says its officials intercepted an estimated 6,000 migrants leaving its coast for Europe in the first five months of 2018. This is a significant difference from the few hundred stopped at the same route last year. More than 68 migrants are reported dead after a migrant boat sank off the Tunisian Coast last Sunday. This is the worst of such incidents in recent history.

Is such a risky trip to Europe worth dying for?

The recent exposition of modern slave trade in Libya, where African migrants are sold in open markets, is supposed to be enough lesson for any ambitious Mediterranean-bound African migrant. With the new wave of this illegal movement now coming from Tunisia, it is increasingly clear that these guys are ready for anything just to reach Europe.

Anyway, a desperate, hungry and poor man will always want to take the highest risk to better his life. One never knows! Somebody may just become the second black spider man in Europe after making such a dangerous voyage.

Nigerian SMEs are getting set for Internet adoption

Statistics from the Nigerian Communications Commission show that Nigeria is buzzing with the largest Internet-using population. More than 98.3 million Nigerians use the Internet. These Internet users do not only surf the Internet but also buy online.

Karan Singh, CEO of Nigeria’s number one domain registration, Domainking.ng. presents how SMEs in Nigeria wish to leverage the internet for their growth. In the last 4 years, the value of Nigeria’s e-commerce industry stands at $13 billion. This shows that there is a great potential for SMEs to sell their products online. In the last three years, Nigeria has experienced 108% growth in Domain penetration.

In 2014, there were almost 120,000 new domain registrations in Nigeria. While in 2017, that number grew to almost 25,000. Thanks to last year’s observation, domain registration growth should double in the next two years. It is obvious that an increasing number of SMEs is interested in online services. As long as necessary information and affordable online services for creating their online presence are made available.

Parliament threatens to impeach President if somethings are not done fast

Political temperatures are increasingly rising in Nigeria. The latest is that the House of Representatives and the Senate, on Tuesday held a joint close door session in which they presented a list of issues for President Buhari to act on or they evoke their constitutional powers.

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“The National Assembly will not hesitate to evoke its constitutional powers if nothing is done to address the above resolutions passed today,” concluded lawmakers, who have the power to impeach the president.

What are the issues at stake?

The executives must “curtail the sustained killing of Nigerians across the country and protect life and properties of Nigerians as this is the primary duty of any responsible government,” the lawmakers stated in one of the 12 resolutions. They also demand an end to the “systematic harassment and humiliation by the executive of perceived political opponents.”

At press time, there was not yet a reaction from the Presidency but there are indications that the increasing strain in relations between the executives and National Assembly is part of the political frictions within the buildup to the 2019 general elections.

Cameroon launches its first shipwreck removal

Cameroon has finally launched its first shipwreck removal project at the Douala sea port after so many decades. 

According to Cyrus Ngo’o, director of the port, this first shipwreck removal is a significant indication of the new dynamics being implemented. Also, it is an important step for the plan to improve  the activities inside the port which are now stopped.

In order to facilitate and see that the project becomes successful, the government has awarded the contract to an Italian company called Bonifacio SRL. The country’s Commercial Bank (CBC) will pay FCFA 4.7 billion as cost for the project. 

Cameroon-America diplomatic relations: politician threatens US Ambassador

A Cameroonian politician has described the US Ambassador to Cameroon as a thug, who must be sent back to America in a coffin.

But who is this politician and where did he make the comment?

He is Mr. Banda Kani, President of the New People’s Movement (NPM) and a loyalist of President Paul Biya. He made the threats during a political talk show on Media Afrique television, to which he was guest. The threat was a reaction to the recent diplomatic clash between the Biya regime and the American diplomatic mission to Yaounde.

It is not clear whether Mr. Kani is serious about this threat of life but the fact that he made it on live TV calls for concern so far as the political future of Paul Biya is concern. If the American government takes this threat serious, then the political future of the Biya government may just have come to an end if we go by history.

DRC e-health startup WapiMed, is monetising its platform

The Democratic  Republic of Congo will soon have the opportunity to have a monetised e-health platform thanks to WapiMed. The monetised platform will combine healthcare with payments.

WapiMed was launched in 2016 as a geolocated directory for care providers in Africa.  It helps users get access to listed health professionals. WapiMed is developing Medpay which according to its co-founder José Zefu Kimpalou, is the Western Union or Moneygram for healthcare expenses in Africa.

MTN Ghana is Pioneering MoMo IPO in Africa

According to Kimpalou, the service is combining online payments, mobile banking and top-up. The idea is to facilitate health remittances between money senders in the African diaspora and care providers. This will in turn support family members to access quality care in their home countries.

The self-funded startup is on the list of selected startups for Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship program (TEEP). WapiMed will have access to a US$5,000 grant.

Uganda says Ethiopian PM deserve the crown of an African Hero

This weekend, Uganda’s government will crown Ethiopia’s prime minister, Abiy Ahmed as a hero of African nationalism. This will be through the receipt of the highest distinction reserved only for a head of state by the Ugandan government. The award ceremony is part of the Ugandan government’s activities to celebrate National Heroes’ Day – a day where those who contributed to the quest for the independence of African states, especially Ugandans are honored.

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What makes Abiy Amed an African hero?

Uganda notes that the 41-year-old Ethiopian leader deserves the “Grand Master” for his contribution towards the independence struggle in Africa. Added to this, Abiy has contributed to Africa’s progress as former intelligence officer in the UN peacekeeping mission to Rwanda, among others.

Abiy Ahmed is now one of Africa’s present youngest leaders who has significantly contributed to Africa’s development. President Yuweri Museveni on his part, poses as a Pan Africanist, though with very questionable democratic credentials. He is among the class of current sit-tight leaders in the Continent.

Côte d’Ivoire accepts Morocco’s interest to join ECOWAS

Cote d’Ivoire is in support of Morocco’s interest to join ECOWAS. Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara endorsed the North African country’s bid to join the Economic Community of West African States  (ECOWAS).

According to Mr. Ouattara, it is important for ECOWAS to open up to other African nations. Moreover, Morocco’s accession will contribute to widen the economic space which is good for growth. Also, its presence in ECOWAS will go in line with the African Continental Free Trade Area

Morocco’s interest to join ECOWAS came in 2017. The North African country intends to strengthen the cultural, economic, and diplomatic links uniting Morocco and ECOWAS member states.

Other leaders like Moustapha Cissé Lo, Speaker of ECOWAS, have also announced their support for Morocco’s bid to access ECOWAS. ECOWAS made this announcement in March.

Equatorial Guinea is extending its arm to invest in Cameroon

Every investment is an act of giving back to the society. Exactly what the National Bank of Equatorial Guinea (Bange) wants to do. The bank recently announced it’ll be opening a subsidiary in Cameroon.

MTN Ghana is Pioneering MoMo IPO in Africa

According to Ebe Mba the chairman of Bange, the Bank is taking all the necessary steps to fulfill the conditions relating to the opening of a subsidiary in Cameroon.

However, the bank which began in 2006, in competition with four private banks back at Equatorial Guinea will have to show its competitors strength in Cameroon.

Is Raila Odinga the ordained mediator for sustainable peace in South Sudan?

Kenya’s political icon and main opposition leader, Raila Odinga, is making attempts to reconcile the warring factions in South Sudan. Mr. Odinga has been nominated as mediator, following the recommendation of the East African regional body, on the need for face-to-face talks between president Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar.

What makes Raila fit for the task?

Many have recently praised Odinga as a respected political conciliator and bridge builder. This follows his demonstration of political maturity towards the restoration of peace and political reconciliation in Kenya, after the 2017 chaotic presidential elections. That election saw him losing to incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta.

South Sudan, Africa’s youngest country, has been embroiled in civil war due to a tussle for political supremacy between incumbent president Salva Kiir and former Vice President Riek Machar.  Kiir’s information minister, Michael Makuei believes that Odinga has the capacity to convince Machar to a ceasefire and the re-negotiation of some of his proposals that have impeded a peaceful settlement in the oil-rich country.

World

Microsoft is dropping a casual $7.5 billion to “Git” GitHub

After a week of rumors, Microsoft on Tuesday, confirmed it had officially acquired GitHub. GitHub is that popular Git-based code sharing and collaborative platform your developer friend won’t stop talking about. The price of the acquisition stood at $7.5 billion in Microsoft stock. GitHub raised $350 million and we know that the company was valued at about $2 billion in 2015.

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GitHub has become an essential tool for some of the biggest tech companies — Apple, Amazon, and Google. Microsoft has also become the biggest contributor to its repository.

But why does Microsoft want it so bad?

Microsoft is not paying $7.5 billion for GitHub’s ability to make money. It’s paying for the access it gets to the legions of developers who use GitHub’s code repository. Then, Microsoft will guide them into the its developer environment, where the real money is made. But Microsoft has also been skeptical of open-source in the past, as it threatened their business model, which relies on proprietary tech.

In recent years, the company has, however, begun to embrace open-source tech and there are even rumors that Windows may soon become open-source. Fears that GitHub was “dead” led many developers to jump ship in favor of GitHub’s competitors. GitLab, GitHub’s most direct competitor, saw a ten time increase when whispers of the alleged acquisition first surfaced.

Can President Trump pardon himself under the US Law?

The Us President Donald Trump on Monday claimed that he has the right to pardon himself but noted that he won’t make use of that power. He added that the special counsel investigation on an alleged collusion between Trump campaign and Russian agents is “unconstitutional.”

“As has been stated by numerous legal scholars, I have the absolute right to PARDON myself, but why would I do that when I have done nothing wrong? In the meantime, the never-ending Witch Hunt, led by 13 very Angry and Conflicted Democrats (& others) continues into the mid-terms!” the President tweeted.

The president’s statement came after one of his attorneys in the Russia investigation, Rudy Giuliani, said Sunday that the President “probably does” have the power to pardon himself, but won’t. Trumps hint on pardoning himself prompted a fierce political and scholarly debate among the US political and scholarly class, as they presented different pros and cons as to why the president can or cannot pardon himself. As the debate rages on, one question remains – Can the president become the judge in his own case?

The world’s largest social media company is dodging blows from the techverse again

Facebook is in the middle of yet another data privacy concern. This time, it’s about how it shared users’ data with device makers like Huawei, Apple and Samsung. This includes things like a user’s education history, relationship status, work, religion, political leanings and upcoming events.

But Facebook said not all of that is true, explaining that it started partnerships with about 60 companies back in the days when mobile phones weren’t as powerful so that device makers could build versions of Facebook that would work across different phones.

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In case you somehow forgot, Facebook’s been in a hot seat for that Cambridge Analytica scandal — where it gave tens of millions of users’ personal data to a political consulting firm without their permission. Meanwhile, Apple is taking active steps to block Facebook’s data collection practices. Apple wants to give users the ability to stop Facebook, Google and other platforms from tracking them across the web like bugs through “like” and “share” buttons.

And this comes after years Apple execs have criticized Facebook as reckless with user privacy. Meanwhile, Apple has seized the opportunity to project itself as the most-behaved player in tech.

With the launch of this e-scooter, Ather has a shot at becoming the Tesla of electric two-wheelers

Five years after two Indian grads set up Ather Energy to build India’s first smart electric scooter, the Ather 340 is finally ready to hit the road. Bangalore-based Ather believes it’s up to the task, and it’s ready to test its faith with the launch of its first creations. The roll out of these scooters marks an important step forward for India’s electric vehicles (EV) industry, which has struggled with policy flip-flops and inadequate infrastructure for years.

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Ather is hardly the first company to bring electric bikes to India – but it’s approach to bringing its rides to market and curating a thoughtful ownership experience is more akin to that of Tesla than of its local competitors.

It’ll be interesting to see how far Ather can take its mission to revolutionize the Indian two-wheeler market. With its current pricing, it’ll likely appeal to tech and electric vehicle enthusiasts initially. But to reach a wider audience in the country’s cost-conscious market, will take a lot of work to convince potential customers of the value of its service, as well as its lower cost of ownership.

Lendix raises $37 million for its lending marketplace

French startup Lendix has raised a new funding round of $37 million (€32 million). With this new cash, the startup has one goal in mind: to become Europe’s leading lending marketplace.

As of now, people living in France, Spain and Italy can sign up to lend money to companies established in those countries. But the startup is already working hard to expand to the Netherlands and Germany before the end of the year. And by next year, Lendix plans to be operational in 7 countries.
Lendix is still a drop in the ocean compared to traditional bank loans. But the company wants to differentiate its product offering from regular banks as much as possible. Though Lendix is still nowhere near as big as Funding Circle, the company thinks there’s enough room for multiple players in this space. Both can grow at the same time by competing with traditional banks.

The first country to approve a live presidency to the President

President Emomali Rahmon of Tajikistan may just be the first president in a White Man’s country to rule forever. The people of Tajikistan, last Sunday voted overwhelmingly to allow their president to rule indefinitely. 94.5 percent of the 4 million people who cast their votes in the referendum, approved amendments to the constitution, including a provision to remove presidential term limits.

Tajikistan is a former Soviet state, where the 63-year-old president Emomali Rahmon, has been leader since November 1992. But it appears the term limit amendment applies only to Rahmon, given the ‘Leader of the Nation’ status accorded to him late last year by parliament. The minimum age to run for Tajik presidential elections is also being lowered to 30, paving the way for Rahmon’s 29-year-old son to run for the 2020 election.

This is a characteristic mostly known to be exhibited by African leaders. It is very funny to see such practice  now creeping into countries like Tajikistan of the former USSR. Report says Tajikistan, remains the poorest of the former USSR nations. ‘Faith-based’ parties have been outlawed, despite the population being predominantly Sunni Muslim.

Silicon Times

Events

  • You can’t afford to miss the Techstars Startup Weekend Buea 07/18, starting from July 20, 8:00 AM – July 22, 2018, 10:30 AM at Catholic University Institute of Buea.
  • Don’t miss out on DEMO Africa Innovation Tour – Yaounde Edition on July 5, 2018 from 1:30 PM – 5:00 PM at ActivSpaces, First Trust Building, Buea.
  • Attend the event on Powering up at continent at POWER-GEN & DistribuTECH Africa 2018 from July 17-19, 2018 at Johannesburg, South Africa.
  • Make a date with Six African energy ministers to share success stories at 20th Africa Energy Forum from June 19-22, 2018 at  Mauritius.
  • Don’t miss the East Africa Digital Construction from November 14 -15, 2018, Nairobi, Kenya.
  • Attend the Live Smart City Travel,Live, Work & Startup at Abuja-The World’s First from November 23, 2018, 9:30 am to November 24, 2018, 6pm at Sheraton Abuja Hotel, Nigeria.
  • Grab an amazing opportunity to meet Human Resources Professionals in the Workshop on Writing HR Policies and Procedures from November 12-16, 2018, 9am-5pm at HCA Learning Centre, Nigeria.
  • Attend the Africa Trade and Investment Global Summit from June 24, 2018, 7:30 am to June 26, 2018, 9pm at the World Trade Center, United States.                                        
  • Take part in the Global Conference on Applied Sciences, Environment & Industrial Engineering from June 16, 2018, 9:00 AM to June 17, 2018, 12:00 PM KST at Seoul,  Korea.

Jobs

Opportunities

  • Sign up for the General Electric (GE) Early Identification (EID) NYSC Program 2018 for young Nigerians. Application deadline is unspecified.
  • Apply for the World Bank Group IFC Recruitment Drive 2018 for sub-Saharan African Professionals. Application deadlines vary with position.
  • Applications are open for the 2018 Google Impact Challenge Nigeria for nonprofits and social entreprises( $250,000 grant and training from Google). Application Deadline: July 4, 2018.
  • Apply for Investec Bursary Programmes 2019 for Young South Africans. Application Deadline is August 31, 2018.
  • Participate in the Crick African Network’s African Career Accelerator (CAN ACA) Awards 2018 for African Post-Doctoral researchers. Application Deadline: August 1, 2018.
  • Grab the amazing opportunity and apply for L’Oreal South Africa Digital Marketing Internship Program 2018.
  • Don’t miss the Southern Africa startup Awards 2018 for young entrepreneurs, bringing together amazing ideas and entrepreneurs from all over the globe.
  • Apply for the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry ( METI) Government of Japan Internship Program 2018 (Fully Funded to Japan). Application Deadline: June 30, 2018.

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